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Month

July 2022

House of Answers

(x = space)

x

x

House of Answers

x

Here’s what I can do for him

x

With what did she wash

Anoint

The feet of Jesus?

The story says perfume

And she used her hair

We think to mean

Devotion

x

God was there

God is here

The preacher says it’s so

I agree with the preacher

About this

x

Then I use books and glasses

I can read the variations

x

I can keep these in my heart

Except for this

x

C L Couch

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John 12:3

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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

x

Homilies

(x = space)

x

x

Homilies

x

Church tomorrow

Virtual and virtuous

Teaching about Lazarus,

I think,

The one from Bethany

Who with his sisters

Was a friend of Jesus

Having hosted him

x

Then Lazarus

Gets sick

Or something

Like that happens

Because he’s clearly dying

And the sisters

Contact Jesus

Who delays in coming

Then their brother dies

Martha comes to Jesus

Speaking words

Of faith

While Mary cannot move

It’s all right, Martha

Jesus says

I know it is in heaven,

She replies,

When I shall see Lazarus

Again

Yes, and I mean more

Than that

Mary manages

To say something

Reproachful

And then Jesus goes

To where their brother

Lies, wrapped and

Spiced in burial

x

Take away the stone

Lazarus, Come out!

Jesus commands

And Lazarus emerges

From the dead

Into the living

Into his sisters’ lives

Again

x

There is a meal

Mary breaks a bottle

Of perfume

And with the oil

And the scent

Bathes the feet of Jesus

Judas reprimands her

For wasted expense

Jesus turns on him

As only love can turn

Teaching him about

The poor

And when it’s all right

To be rich,

Say, when we’re

At the feet

Of Jesus

x

C L Couch

x

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John 11, first part of 12 (in the Christian New Testament)

x

Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

x

August on Deck

(x = space)

x

x

August on Deck

(easy greetings)

x

It’s Friday

Anticipate a weekend

Late summer

Final trip before the school year

Work at home

Clean at home

Leave the home

For the park

For stores

For church

Find company

Leave company

Hours on one’s own

The quiet might invite

x

Or out into the world

A different way

A drive, a walk

To nowhere in particular

A new nowhere

Untried

Something heard of

Or an inviting opening

A path into

Some inviting part of the world

Keep safe

Why not

x

After the anthem,

Play ball

x

x

C L Couch

x

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Photo by Maksym Tymchyk 🇺🇦 on Unsplash

Ukraine

I look at this

I can smell the stalks, the petals

Memory, I suppose

x

Tune in Tomorrow

(x = space)

x

x

Tune in Tomorrow

x

I’m not smart;

I don’t have a smart phone

Or a smart house

Or a smart life

x

I use the ticking of a clock,

Not an association,

Other wind-up ways

And, yes, electron ways

To note

Time passing

As it does

In society

x

My books do not have faces

(not meaning the clock)

Though they do have bindings

For clarity

In anticipation

x

They have tropes and memes,

I’m sure

x

This will be changing

Naturally,

Technologically, enough

x

My cars have had computers

For a while

And I still like the lure

Of robots’ walking service

And companionship,

Of a jetpack set upon my back

So I may fly over

Land and water

And through clouds

Of other worlds

x

Childhood’s end,

Mister Clarke,

And childhood’s dreaming

With all the songs

I used to listen to

That would resonate

With or without volume

Later on

x

Things change

x

Some things fall apart,

Sometimes the center:

The poem and

The novel know this,

Through our

Participation

x

Some remains

(some remains)

On the edge

Like samples in a centrifuge

Or in the washer after

Machinic wringing

As a body might wring something

Autonomically

(or for the therapist to say)

x

Memories,

Some items

Metaphors

And totems

x

Worn wires

And connectors

Old, most likely small

Machines

x

Storied threads

Kept in shadowed places

Until the knob is turned,

The door opened

x

The wires, threads, and all

Intertwine

In our own alchemy

Into today

With new things,

Many things

Applied

x

All mix

Then when done

Can sough and sigh

Into the future

x

Terms and

Formal understandings

Are better for tomorrow;

Today is for the

Result of threading

Into compromise,

Often astounding,

Of things good,

Some bad

Things tested,

Some waiting to be tried in

The world

Or safe at home

x

I’ll tell you things

And will you tell me, please?

That will be star-stuff

Mister Sagan,

Ms Druyan

x

On Earth

More locally for now

A charm, token, song today, tomorrow–

Story-stuff

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Alberto Bobbera on Unsplash

x

In an Anodyne Moment

(x = space)

x

x

In an Anodyne Moment

x

Before the heat returns

And the noise

Before senses assaulted

Once again,

Taking hits against reason

And the cool of insight

May I say

While I can see

That there are good things

Happening

There are good people

Everywhere

And I am glad to be on Earth

Part, party, and partner

To all this

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Eskil Helgesen on Unsplash

x

Narrative Liturgy

(x = space)

x

x

Narrative Liturgy

x

My eyes and stress

Aren’t doing so well

The limitations come up shorter

Than they used to

It doesn’t take as long to

Make the fence

The metal one

The metal fence with metal signs

About trespassing

Access or the lack thereof

x

On the other side

Is twenty-twenty

And easier living

The kind that happens in

A Gershwin summer

Though maybe

That’s not so easy, after all

Prejudices

Production values and the process,

Overall

Whatever money and material

Involved

x

My dad has a barn

My mom can make costumes

Come on, gang,

Let’s have a show

Easy times

And black and white

Because so much youth was involved

Thank you, Rooney

Thank you, Garland

x

Thank you for who made the barn

And wrote the music

We’ll find the instruments

Keep practicing

I hear the backer might

Show up anytime now

For a matinee

Or evening show,

x

Which is good

Because the talent

And the crews

And the producers might be

Getting tired

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Rob Laughter on Unsplash

x

Declared

(x = space)

x

x

Declared

x

Here,

There’s food for energy

And water

I know, for many

An easy trip to the store

x

War ruins this,

Of course,

There and by extension

My shopping receipts attest

All our bills

x

There has been the war of greed

There and here

x

Though

Away from war

Except for greed

I don’t have to fear for bullets

Or wait for other missiles small and large

Cry the air,

Find my flesh

Find yours

x

The planet will reclaim

The Earth to wait

And us to judge

Well or poorly

The killing of each other

Loss

Hardship

And disease

x

Our tries everywhere

To build

To know each other

Energize the world

Food

Water

Safety

A just ambition

Peace

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Антон Дмитриев on Unsplash

Sunset in the exclusion zone.

x

Eligibility Requirements

(x = space)

x

x

Eligibility Requirements

James 1:22-27

x

What does the Lord

Ask of us?

Many things, I think

That Noah build an ark

That Abraham sacrifice

His son upon an altar

Made for animals

x

That Rahab should save

The spies of Israel

In Canaan

That Mary should conceive

Without her affianced

And then give birth

x

That Cain should confess

That sinners should confess

That we should be

Doers and not hearers only

Of the word

x

That we should seek justice

And do justice

That we should love God

And each other

Be generous with enemies

With material and with prayer

x

I’d like to say it’s easy

As salvation is

Through grace

And belief

But frankly it’s the start

Of a grown-up life of faith

In which there should be joy

And humor, too,

And if there isn’t

Then we have been told

In someone’s catechism

Something wrong

x

C L Couch

x

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James is a brief, epistolary work in the Christian New Testament.

x

Photo by Taras Chernus on Unsplash

“I am from Ukraine, there is a war going on in my country now. Your help is more important than ever.”

x

the blast of war

(x = space)

x

x

the blast of war

x

God

grant not my will

but yours

yours and mind when

we’re allied

but if it’s you or me

better to be you

and yours

I know

I’ll be there, too

that sometimes frustrates

when I want something

all my own

and maybe

you would not agree

all the way

better for your will be done

and mine left out

you’ll remember me

and several billion

while caretaking

all who are asleep

a world that’s cracking

you will let it crack

split into pieces

that we insist upon

who says

my will be done?

yours will keep the planet

and humanity

behold what

our will has done

and save us

by your modest will

gentle

or ferocious

x

the quiet desert

and the storm at sea

are yours

watch over these

and the tame or wild places

of the mind

the heart

and spirit

we should ally

keep us from all tyrannies

with a will

for freedom

x

c l couch

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photo by jonathan bowers on unsplash

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